Rock for Love, the annual fund-raiser concert for the nonprofit Church Health Center, has grown every year, but this sixth installment takes a major leap, with live music and other activities covering three venues across four days.
The festival concludes with a free concert on Sunday night at the Levitt Shell featuring Stax legend Booker T. Jones and rapper Al Kapone [see Music Feature], but there's plenty of great stuff leading up to that finale.
Rock for Love takes over the Hi-Tone Café three nights this week. On Thursday, September 6th, the lineup is Arkansas singer-songwriter Jim Mize, local indie stalwarts Mouserocket, the Paul Taylor-led Merry Mobile, and ace sideman turned solo artist Mark Edgar Stuart. The action starts at 9 p.m. with a $7 admission.
On Friday, September 7th, folk-rockers Star & Micey will be joined by Big Star drummer Jody Stephens, and one of the city's best bands of the past decade, melodic indie rockers Snowglobe, will reunite. They'll be joined by emerging singer-songwriter Chris Milam and dual husband-and-wife band the Wuvbirds. On Saturday, September 8th, a lot of newish local bands — Switchblade Kid, Tanks, Dead Soldiers, and Fast Planet — will join a reunited version of Antenna Club-era alt-rockers the Modifiers. Both Friday and Saturday bills start at 9 p.m. with a $10 cover.
A particularly interesting new addition to Rock for Love this year is an all-day street festival on Overton Square that will run from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday and is a free, all-ages event. There will be plenty of music: Larry Raspberry and the Highsteppers, featuring original members of the '60s hitmakers the Gentrys, will demonstrate some classic Memphis rock and pop, and they'll be joined by current acts such as alt-country/folk-rock trio the Memphis Dawls, gospel/blues performer Rev. John Wilkins, latin jazz singer Marcela Pinella, Memphis ex-pat John Murry, the Stax Academy Band, and others.
In addition to the live music, the Overton Square Street Festival will feature kids activities (including a Rock-and-Romp area and an inflatable slide from the Grizzlies), cooking and gardening demonstrations, food trucks, and other highlights.